Día De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead in English, though it’s referred to simply as Día de Metros in Mexico) is one of the world’s most misunderstood holidays. Because it’s celebrated within range of Halloween, and features an assortment of macabre imagery and costumes, some people assume it’s just “Mexican Halloween,” while attempts to co-opt the holiday have been repeated through history. (Disney attempted to trademark the term to market a film in 2013.)
Originally a harvest celebration for the Aztecs, what would become the Day of the Dead in Mexico was originally celebrated around the end of summer (some believe August), structured as it was around the farming season. This is much like Halloween, which is derived from pagan holidays that also celebrated the change of the seasons. Spanish conquistadors bringing Catholic influence to Latin America combined the holiday with the Catholic traditions of All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day.
We will be celebrating Dia de Los Muertos at Joshua Cementary